St Dunstan, Bishop & Confessor; Comm. St Peter Celestine, Bishop of Rome & St Pudentiana, Virgin: Missa “Sacerdotes tui“
Born of a noble family at Baltonsborough, near Glastonbury, England, Dunstan was educated there by Irish monks and while still a youth, was sent to the court of King Athelstan. He became a Benedictine monk about 934 and was ordained by his uncle, St. Alphege, Bishop of Winchester, about 939. After a time as a hermit at Glastonbury, Dunstan was recalled to the royal court by King Edmund, who appointed him abbot of Glastonbury Abbey in 943. He developed the Abbey into a great center of learning while revitalizing other monasteries in the area. He became advisor to King Edred on his accession to the throne when Edmund was murdered, and began a far-reaching reform of all the monasteries in Edred’s realm. Dunstan also became deeply involved in secular politics and incurred the enmity of the West Saxon nobles for denouncing their immorality and for urging peace with the Danes. When Edwy succeeded his uncle Edred as king in 955, he became Dunstan’s bitter enemy for the Abbot’s strong censure of his scandalous lifestyle. Edwy confiscated his property and banished him from his kingdom. Dunstan went to Ghent in Flanders but soon returned when a rebellion replaced Edwy with his brother Edgar, who appointed Dunstan Bishop of Worcester and London in 957. When Edwy died in 959, the civil strife ended and the country was reunited under Edgar, who appointed Dunstan Archbishop of Canterbury. The king and archbishop then planned a thorough reform of Church and state. Dunstan was appointed legate by Pope John XII, and with St. Ethelwold and St. Oswald, restored ecclesiastical discipline, rebuilt many of the monasteries destroyed by the Danish invaders, replaced inept secular priests with monks, and enforced the widespread reforms they put into effect. Dunstan served as Edgar’s chief advisor for sixteen years and did not hesitate to reprimand him when he thought it deserved. When Edgar died, Dunstan helped elect Edward the martyr king and then his half brother Ethelred, when Edward died soon after his election. Under Ethelred, Dunstan’s influence began to wane and he retired from politics to Canterbury to teach at the Cathedral school and died there. Dunstan has been called the reviver of monasticism in England. He was a noted musician, played the harp, composed several hymns, notably Kyrie Rex splendens, was a skilled metal worker, and illuminated manuscripts. He is the patron of armorers, goldsmiths, locksmiths, and jewelers. His feast day is May 19th.
S. Peter Celestine, Bishop of Rome: also known as Pietro da Morrone, Peter of Morrone, and Peter Celestine, was pope for five months from 5 July to 13 December 1294, when he resigned. He was also a monk and hermit who founded the order of the Celestines as a branch of the Benedictine order.
Among the few edicts of his to remain in force was the confirmation of the right of the pope to abdicate; nearly all of his other official acts were annulled by his successor, Boniface VIII. On 13 December 1294, a week after issuing the decree, Celestine resigned, stating his desire to return to his humble, pre-papal life. He was subsequently imprisoned by Boniface in the castle of Fumone in the Campagna region, in order to prevent his potential installation as antipope. He died in prison on 19 May 1296 at the age of 81.
Celestine was canonized on 5 May 1313 by Pope Clement V. No subsequent pope has taken the name Celestine.
S. Pudentiana: Also known as Potentiana, a Roman virgin and daughter of St. Pudens. According to legend, she was the daughter of the Roman senator named in St. Paul’s Second Letter to Timothy who gave away her wealth to the poor, aided the burials of Christians, and died at the age of sixteen.
INTROIT Psalm 131: 9-10
Let Thy priests, O Lord, be clothed with justice, and let Thy saints rejoice: for Thy servant David’s sake, turn not away the face of Thy anointed. V. O Lord, remember David, and all his meekness. v. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Let Thy priests, O Lord, be clothed with justice…
God, who didst remove thy bishop blessed Dunstan to the kingdom of heaven, grant that with the help of his shining merits we too may pass into the joy that knows no ending. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
Commemoration of St Peter Celestine, Bishop of Rome
O God, Who raised blessed Peter Celestine to the lofty dignity of Supreme Pontiff and taught him to prefer self-abasement instead; mercifully grant that by his example we may look upon all worldly things as naught, and may be worthy to reap in joy the rewards promised to the humble.
Commemoration of St Pudentiana, Virgin
Graciously hear us, O God our Savior, that as we rejoice in the festival of blessed Pudentiana, Your Virgin, so may we be nourished by the food of her heavenly teaching that we may be enlightened by the fervor of her dedicated holiness. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
EPISTLE Hebrews 7: 23-27
Lesson from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Hebrews: Brethren, there were made many priests, because by reason of death they were not suffered to continue: but Jesus, for that He continueth forever, hath an everlasting priesthood. Whereby He is able also to save forever them that come to God by Him; always living to make intercession for us. For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, and undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as the other priests, to offer sacrifice first for His own sins, and then for the people’s; for this Jesus Christ our Lord did once, in offering Himself.
Alleluia, alleluia. V. (Psalm 109: 4) The Lord hath sworn, and He will not repeant: Thou art a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedech. Alleluia. V. (Ps: 109: 9) The Lord loved him and adorned him, He clothed him with a robe of glory. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Matthew 24: 42-47
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “Watch ye, because you know not what hour your Lord will come. but this know ye, that , if the good man of the house knew at what hour the thief would come, he would certainly watch, and would not suffer his house to be broken open. Wherefore be you also ready: because at what hour you know not the Son of Man will come. Who, thinkest thou, is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath appointed over his family, to give them meat in season? Blessed is that servant, whom when his lord shall come he shall find so doing. Amen I say to you, he shall place him over all his goods.”
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 88: 25
My truth and My mercy shall be with him: and in My name shall his horn be exalted. Alleluia.
Lord, we entreat thee to accept the gifts that we, thy suppliant household, bring thee on the feast of thy blessed confessor bishop Dunstan, praying that with the help of his worshipful intercession we may be countered worthy to be guarded against the wiles of all our enemies. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
Commemoration of St Peter Celestine of Rome
Having offered You our gifts, we beseech You, O Lord, mercifully to enlighten Your Church, so that Your flock may everywhere prosper, and its shepherds, under Your guidance, be rendered acceptable to You.
Commemoration of St Pudentiana, Virgin
May the offering made by Your devoted people be pleasing to You, O Lord, in honour of Your Saints, through whose merits they know they have received help in times of trial. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the same Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever. R.Amen.
PREFACE of the Apostles
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, to entreat Thee humbly, O Lord, that Thou woulds not desert Thy flock. O everlasting Shepherd; but through Thy blessed Apostles, wouldst keep it under Thy constant protection; that it may be governed by those same rulers, whom as vicars of Thy work, Thou didst set over it to be its pastors. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of The glory, evermore saying:
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Matthew 24: 46-47
Blessed is that servant, whom when his lord cometh he shall find watching: Amen I say to you, he shall place him over all his goods. Alleluia.
Help us Lord, we pray thee, by the intercession of thy blessed confessor bishop Dunstan, in whose honour we have approached thy sacrament. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
Mercifully grant our prayers, we beseech thee, O Lord, that while we receive thy gifts in tribulation, we may be conforted, and so increase in thy love.
Commemoration of St Pudentiana, Virgin
You have filled Your people, O Lord, with sacred gifts; we beseech You to ever comfort us by the intercession of her whose festival we are celebrating. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.